“Prepare for the unknown by studying how others in the past have coped with the unforeseeable and the unpredictable.” ― George S. Patton”
Our ancestors lived through the worldwide 1918 Flu Pandemic and found many similarities to today’s Covid-19 pandemic. The phrase “social distancing” didn’t exist in 1918 but everyone quickly learned to avoid the enclosed public spaces, such as churches and movie theaters.
In many ways, the 1918 Flu Pandemic was much worse than today’s worldwide pandemic. For instance, in 1918 through 1920, it was not unusual for someone to wake up in the morning feeling normal, to begin to feel ill around 10 AM, and then to be dead by sundown.
In Seattle, during the influenza’s lockdown period in October and November of 1918, people without masks were banned from public transit and ticketed or fined by members of the police’s masked “Flu Squad.” Headlines had a somewhat negative spin: “Thousands Are Hit with Flu Mask Order,” shouted one in the Seattle Star.
You can read a lot more about the successes and of the (many) failures of actions by the people of 1918 in an article by Knute Berger and published in the Crosscut web site at https://crosscut.com/2020/07/mask-wars-1918-flu-pandemic.